Assessment for Fun and Games

Gameplay isn’t all just fun and games. As Mario Rinvolucri points out in his seminal work “Grammar Games” [1987; Cambridge University Press] “Serious work is taking place in the context of a game.” In addition to the serious work of creating and consolidating oral output that takes place in a typical game of Truth or Dare for English Language Learners, gameplay can be leveraged to the task of student assessment as well.

Download, fill out, print, cut and hand out to begin building a body of marks.

Assessing both participation and performance can be especially challenging in a dedicated conversational English class. By assigning learning targets in the course of a round of Truth or Dare through the use of the “mini-whiteboard” you are already halfway there. Use a scrap of paper or a more presentable form such as the downloadable at the end of this blog entry to tally achievement of the assigned task.

The form below, in Microsoft Word format, features a drop-down list with a variety of common learning targets from the grammar-specific to extensive speaking tasks. Alternatively, fill-in the second line of the form with customized tasks. This cell can also be used to list secondary tasks such as directing listeners to ask a certain number of questions during each turn or to utilize specific question types when questioning.

Save roll call until the end of the session, with students calling out their tally instead of the usual responses. Gradually, students will accumulate marks that can be used to assess both performance and participation over the course of the term.

Click the link below to download the easily customizable form.

Download: Peer/Self Assessment Form

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